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August 2011 Archives

August 9, 2011

The Walt Disney World Village 1987


Time for another "Step Back in Time" blog. I've got a number of brochures from the WDW Village area, now known as Downtown Disney.

I also have some memories of my very first visit here in the early 70's. Wish I had photos from that time to share, but film costing what it did and me a poor student, just didn't have the means back then.

My fondest memory was the Candle Shop - perhaps it a section of a shop, perhaps it's own store, I don't know. But I do know that I was fascinated with the candle making process, something brand new to me at that time. I also remember thinking it was far away from the Magic Kingdom. So far that I only visited it once in my several trips during the 70's. Aw.... it was a much simpler time, was it not?

Ok.... fast forward to the late 1980's. Once again, the brochure cover had wonderful artwork.

The Walt Disney World Village 1987

This overview page tells lots about the village atmosphere. Again, the artwork is great, I especially love the Cast Member name tag worn by the server in the lower right.

And while there was bus service, nothing to/from the theme parks that I can tell from this pamplet.

The Walt Disney World Village 1987

The Walt Disney World Village 1987

The back cover had a map so you could see where the location of the Village, mainly in relationship to the area hotels. Epcot and the Magic Kingdom are simply an arrow on the bottom left.

The Treehouse and Fairway Villas have gone through various changes over the years. From the Disney Institute to the Saratoga Springs Resort. Just about all the Downtown Disney hotels have changed names as well. No more Grosvenor Resort, Howard Johnson Resort, Pickett Suite Resort or the Viscount Hotel!

The Walt Disney World Village 1987

Here's a link to my other recent Step Back in Time blogs!

August 10, 2011

Toy Story Maniac Eat and Play Event - Two Tickets Auction



You have all been so incredibly generous with your bids!!! I thank you so so much.

One of our most popular December to Remember Events is the Toy Story Maniac Eat and Play Event! It sold out in less than 24 hours and we had three times the number of ticket requests than tickets.

Here's a chance to get a pair of tickets to this Private Sold Out Event AND help a great cause. That's right - your entire winning bid amount will go to Deb's Avon Walk for Breast Cancer fundraiser! Keep reading and we'll tell you exactly how to bid.

The event takes place on Friday, December 9, 2011 at Disney's Hollywood Studios. You must be at the turnstiles by 6:45 a.m. Disney transportation is not operating that early, so you will need your own transportation to the park.


We'll walk to our private breakfast location (not open to the general public) and enjoy a hot meal together. Then, we'll be the first riders on Toy Story Midway Mania of the day! No one in the queue! No Lines, No Waiting! for one of the most popular attractions in the World!

The events will be accessible to the extent that the Walt Disney World location is accessible. Please indicate on your ticket request form if you are traveling in a wheelchair/ECV..

Theme park admission is required and the responsibility of the ticket holders. You must be 12 years of age or older to attend this event. All tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

The use of cameras, video or audio recording equipment will be determined on an event by event basis and in accordance with Disney guidelines.

AllEars® is not responsible for lost emails.

The purchase of a ticket covers ONLY the specific event. All other costs are the BUYERS' responsibility.

Ticket user assumes all risks of personal injury incidental to the event, whether occurring prior to, during, or subsequent to the event.

By bidding on this pair of tickets you acknowledge you agree to all terms of conditions of the ticket and event and agree to hold harmless RYI Enterprises, LLC and their officers, volunteers and staff. RYI Enterprises, LLC reserves the right to refuse any order at its discretion. Ticket holders release RYI Enterprises Inc, AllStar Vacation Homes, MEI-Travel and the event sponsors and its affiliates of any and all liability.

For complete details on the event visit Toy Story Maniac Eat and Play Event page

Many thanks to our PLATINUM EVENT SPONSOR.


ITEM DESCRIPTION: 2 Tickets to the Sold Out Toy Story Maniac Eat and Play Event!

CURRENT BID $525 Bid increments must be $10.00 or more.

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, August 14 at NOON Eastern Time

TO BID: You must click on the comment link and enter your full name and email address, as well as your bid amount in the comments box. (NOTE: Your email address will NOT show up online.) I will approve the comments so you can see what the current bid is. Once a few bids have been made, only the current high bid will be visible.

By bidding you agree to all rules set forth below! Please read carefully BEFORE you bid!

blue line


** To bid, you must click on the comment link and enter your full name and email address, as well as your bid amount in the comments box. (NOTE: Your email address will NOT show up online.) I will approve the comments so you can see what the current bid is. Once a few bids have been made, only the current high bid will be visible.

** You may bid more than once if you decide to up your current bid or if you've been outbid and wish to bid higher.

** This auction ends Sunday, August 14 at NOON Eastern Time. No comments/bids will be accepted after that time. All times stated will be Eastern Time.

** If you have questions about the item, chances are others do, too. Just post your question as a comment.

CoolClipsgavel.jpg ** The winning bidder will be notified via email with details on how to make the donation to my online Avon Walk account. The winning bidder will have 36 hours to respond to the winner email confirmation and make the online donation. Should the online donation not be made within 36 hours of the auction close, the bid will be considered abandoned and the second-highest bidder will be offered the item at the highest bid price. If that person does not respond within 36 hours or declines, the item will go back in the "bin" for a future auction.


PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: This is a FUNDRAISER! It is not a flea market. The starting bid of $50 was the price of two tickets when they initially went on sale.

VERY IMPORTANT: All bids/sales are final. There are NO RETURNS and NO REFUNDS.

In case of duplicate high bids, the earliest time-stamped bid will prevail.

Deb Wills will be the final arbiter of any and all disputes. All decisions are final. Please remember this is a Fundraiser! By bidding you agree to all the rules and any rule not covered will be determined by Deb Wills as the final word.

Thanks, everyone - now let's raise some money!

August 16, 2011

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek - a review


I recently had the occasion to spend a night in the Central Florida area and thought I would check out the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, a new 2011 advertiser on AllEars. I had a tour of the property a few months back and was impressed with all the amenities offered. Things almost always look great on tours, but I wanted to try it out for myself.

We arrived at the hotel about 3pm and our room was ready. The lobby area was bright and clean and the front desk staff were most helpful, friendly and efficient. I asked a few questions (I already knew the answers to) and they were also very knowledgeable.

Before long, we were on our way to the King room we requested. Given my Hilton membership, I was upgraded to a beautiful pool view room. The pool area is amazing and wish we had time to check it out.

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

The room was spacious and nicely appointed.

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

I had work to do and the pull out computer table under the desk was perfect!

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

We did have trouble finding the safe, as it wasn't in the closet where I'm used to finding it. The gentleman who answered in Guest Services was very nice and explained the safe is in the nightstand. And, perhaps more importantly, did not make me feel silly for asking.

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

You can't beat the location, I could see parts of Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from our room. Shuttle transportation is provided to the Disney theme parks on a schedule. We did not use this feature, so I can't comment further.

Wireless internet is free in the lobby area, otherwise there is a charge if you use the hard wire in the room.

There is no resort fee so in addition to paying for in-room internet you also pay to self/valet park.

Special amenities (spa, golfing, dining) are shared with the Waldorf Astoria located nearby.

For dinner we ate at La Luce by Donna Scala, located in the hotel. "This is a modern Italian country kitchen serves dinner and features regional Italian cuisine, thin crust pizzas, Mediterranean-inspired cocktails and a Trattoria-style wine program."

See the large artwork in the photo? It is hand drawn by chalk artists - just amazing. It even changes every few months!


Our server was exceptional and she really added to the ambiance of the dining experience.

The four of us enjoyed our meals and rated the food from outstanding to average depending on the dish. For instance, I LOVED my Asparagus Salad with Lemon Mascarpone, Toasted Pistachio, Goat Cheese, Avocado, and a light lemon dressing. I'd have it again in a moment! The Olive Fritte Fried Spanish Olives with Marcona Almonds appetizer was a huge hit as well! Not only were the olives tasty, there were quite a lot of them served in a nice round bowl which made for easy sharing.

The other items included: Bruschetta del Giorno - this night's special was with tuna tartar. While it was tasty, the tartar was more of a paste and not thinly sliced tuna, which my mind had envisioned so it was a tad disappointing.

The special entree of the evening was Sea Bass with mashed potatoes and a vegetable. Flavors were good, seasoned well, nice sear marks but a tad on the dry side.

Two of us had the Bellwether Ricotta and Pesto Ravioli with a choice of Lemon Cream or Tomato Sauce. Our server recommended we try half of each. While the ravioli with tomato sauce was ok, I really enjoyed the Lemon Cream sauce. It gave a nice citrus accent to the pasta.

We were all full and passed on dessert. Overall a great evening of service, friends, wine and food.

The next morning we slept in before heading out of town. First stop, Harvest Bistro for breakfast. There were a variety of a la carte items or the breakfast buffet for $17. The items all were fresh (and even had my favorite strawberries on the buffet) so the buffet won out. One nice feature is that kids (12 and under) eat FREE at breakfast and dinner at (with the purchase of an adult entree)!

All in all, a short, but wonderful stay at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. I look forward to a longer stay next time! I suggest you check it out!

Checkout what AllEars readers have to say and post your review too!

Disclosure: The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is a paid advertiser with AllEars®. This in no way influenced my review. The resort did not know I was coming and I paid for the stay myself. I did not even book it through the link on AllEars.

August 17, 2011

Heading to Disneyland and the D23 Expo


Today I am heading to the west coast for a week in Disneyland. Even though I was just there for 2 nights in April (before the Disney Cruise west coast re-positioning cruise), much has changed since my visit!

At Disneyland, the new Star Tours is open - yes, I know just like WDW. But the Mickey's Soundsational Parade also has debuted and getting very positive reviews. I love a good parade and look forward to seeing this one!

Mickey's Soundsational Parade

Over at the Disneyland Hotel, where I wandered in a maze of construction walls on my last visit, the pool and 2 new eateries have opened! Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar are now open. In fact, I'll be having a meet and greet at the Tangaroa Terrace on Thursday morning at 9:30am!

Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Hotel

But the most changes have occurred over the Disney California Adventure. The new entrance (which I hear makes you think you are at Disney's Hollywood Studios) has opened.

The first photo is from my April trip and then you'll see how it looks now. Quite a difference.

Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure

...as has The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure. I'm excited to be seeing the Little Mermaid attraction as it will be opening in WDW next year!

Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Also, the Paradise Pier area has many new areas open including Goofy's Fly School and several eateries.

Goofy's Fly School

WOW -- there is a LOT that is new since just a few months ago. I hope I can see it all.

The reason I'm not sure is because much of my time will be over at the D23 Expo.

The pre-opening festivities include an invitation only special tribute in honor of Betty Taylor & Wally Boag at Disneyland. Plus a media reception that takes place inside the "Carousel of Projects," the spectacular pavilion created to celebrate all the magic on the horizon for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. We will also get to preview the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.

And, I have a few other things I'll be doing on thursday that I hope to be able to tweet photos and update you on.

The Expo kicks off officially on Friday for 3 days. The AllEars team (Deb Koma, Laura, Lee and Jeanine) will be there covering as many events as we can with a jammed packed schedule.

Here is a list of the celebrities who are supposed to be there over the course of the three days:
Celebrities from both current and classic Disney projects (both on screen and behind the scenes) will be on hand throughout the Expo, and are currently scheduled to include: Jennifer Garner, Dick Van Dyke, Willem Dafoe, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Jason Segel, Marty Sklar, Alice Davis, Michael Giacchino, Tony Baxter, Tom Bergeron, Regis Philbin, Jodi Benson, Lea Salonga, Linda Larkin, Paige O'Hara, Anika Noni Rose, David Arquette, Jason Dolley, Hayley Keyoko, Sterling Knight, Tiffany Thornton, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Kelly MacDonald, Kevin McKidd, Lynn Collins, Taylor Kitsch, Wilmer Valderrama, Sean Astin, Melissa Joan Hart, Sean Astin, Chelsea Kane, Kyle Massey, cast members from Marvel's The Avengers and many more.

Many things I want to see overlap, so hard choices will have to be made. Here are just a few of the events I hope to be at


2011 Disney Legends Ceremony, 11 a.m. D23 Expo kicks off the first day by honoring the latest recipients in Disney's 24-year tradition.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, 3:30 p.m. Glimpse into some of the exciting projects currently underway at Disney's parks and resorts.

Dick Van Dyke & The Vantastix, 8:15 p.m. Hear songs from Dick Van Dyke's varied entertainment career and various Disney classic songs.


The Walt Disney Studios, 10:30 a.m. Exclusive video clips, live performances, filmmaker discussions, star appearances, and more!

Michael Giacchino's Music of Pixar, 1:00 p.m. In this musical presentation, Michael Giacchino provides an earful of tunes and tales about his early influences for Pixar's modern-day classic scores.

Legends of Walt Disney Imagineering, 4:30 p.m. Disney Legend Marty Sklar will lead a celebration of Imagineering careers and accomplishments.


Imagineering the Dream and the Fantasy Ceremony (D23 Members Only), 9:00 a.m. Imagineers Joe Lanzisero and Bob Zalk talk about the design of Disney's latest cruise ships.

Radiator Springs Reality, 1:30 p.m. Pixar's John Lasseter and Roger Gould join Imagineers for a sneak peek look at Cars Land.

MORE of The Wonderful World of Vintage Disneyland and Walt Disney World, 5:15 p.m. Film preservationist Ed Hobelman and Imagineer Tony Baxter look back at vintage footage. Stage 23

Stay turned.

I will be twittering http://twitter.com/#!/allearsdeb and my twitter feeds to my facebook page.

Deb Koma will be twittering via the http://twitter.com/#!/allearsnet.

The Team will be blogging as time permits.

August 18, 2011

All EarsĀ® Debuts New Disneyland Trading Cards


On May 13, 2010, AllEars® began publishing special Trading Cards. These unique cards are not for sale and may only be obtained directly from an AllEars® Team Member or by trading with other Disney fans.

These two-sided high-gloss cards measure 2 3/4" by 3 1/4" and feature different aspects of our favorite vacation destinations. Special Series trading cards include the Fan Meets, Photography, Transportation, Animals, Holidays and more to be announced. You can learn more about the trading cards on our website.

More than 35 cards have currently been released and more cards will be released throughout the year in Disneyland, Walt Disney World and on the Disney Cruise Line.

Our 3 newest cards debuted today, August 18, 2011, at the AllEars Meet and Greet at the Disneyland Hotel's Tangaroa Terrace.

TC_36_Front_small.jpg TC_38_Front_small.jpg


If you see anyone from the AllEars team at the D23 expo or Disneyland Resort over the next few days, stop and say hello! You may just get some of our brand new Disneyland trading cards!

Cards are not available through the mail. although a limited number of card sets may be offered as part of a charity auction from time to time.

Sneak Peek at the D23 Expo Floor


Exciting afternoon with a preview of the Archives exhibit (no cameras) and then a tour of the D23 Expo floor with head Steven Clark.

August 19, 2011

Sneak Peek Treasures of the Disney Archives


A must do on your D23 expo list is the Treasures of the Disney Archives, located on the 2nd floor of the convention center. Here is a quick look at the amazing artifacts, props and costumes on display at this year's expo.

Stay tune for continous coverage of the D23 Expo.

Return to Blog Central

About August 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in August 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2011 is the previous archive.

September 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.